The Perfect Scoop -David Lebovitz (Notes)


Kirsch:  a distillation of cherries heightens flavors of many fruit- or berry-based frozen desserts because it doesn’t interfere with fresh fruit flavors; a few drops.  Ex:  Poire Williams, or another eau-de-vie.

Add a splash of alcohol.  3 tablespoons (45 ml) of 40-percent (80-proof) liquor, such as rum or whiskey, to 1 quart (1L) of custard/sorbet mixture.  Wine or champagne = up to 1/2 cup (125 ml) per 1 quart.

Sour cream, plain whole-milk or Greek yogurt

Liquid sweetener substitute for sugar can yield a smoother result, substitute up to 25% granulated sugar for honey/golden syrup/molasses/rice syrup/glucose/corn syrup- use light corn syrup.

If buying frozen berries, buy unsweetened and individually frozen (IQF). Measure when frozen.

Cocoa nibs!  Pure chocolate without sugar, remaining crisp in ice cream- specialty shops or well-stocked supermarkets.

Finely chopped chocolate = 1/4 inch

Coarsely chopped = 3/4 inch

Use serrated bread knife, start at corner.

Coconut milk:  do not use low-fat, or heavily sweetened Coco Lopez (“cream of coconut”)

Coffee and Espresso

-Bialetti brand, or “moka” type.  1 tsp powder to 1/4  (60 ml) cup of hot water

Dried fruit

Use Trader Joe’s for well-priced.  Unsulfured dried fruits will affect look of finished ice cream.

Dried apricots- use from California.   Prunes are also labeled as “dried plums”


Use large-size (2 oz).  Eggs are easier to separate when cold.    Cooking eggs to 160 degrees F for safety, or use pasteurized eggs in their shell.

Oils and Extracts

Store extracts in cool, dark place. Avoid artificial.


Use Microplane — can also use Oxo.  Rasp-style grater.  If using box grater, double amount


“cook with what you would drink” — Italian Prosecco is budget-friendly

If you want to omit for recipe that calls for 1 tablespoon or less, can substitute with vanilla extract or a squirt of lemon juice

Maple syrup

Use dark amber maple syrup


Hazelnuts pecans and walnuts spoil easily.  Can be frozen in zip-top freezer bags.  Taste better if toasted.  Pistachio nuts can lose delicate green color though.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees, spread in even layer on ungreased sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes, but check sooner, stir once or twice  Lightly golden brown throughout, let nuts cool completely.

Use commercial peanut butter


A pinch brightens flavors, gentle contrast to sweetness.

Kosher salt or flaky sea salt.  Fancy salt  = fleur de sel, Maldon salt from England

Too much sugar and it won’t freeze.  Granulated white sugar.

Online Supply Sources,,,,, trader joe’s,,

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